Use these 5 tips to make your CV stand out

by Guest Author, Xolile Mtembu

You face fierce competition whenever you send in your job application. With dozens or even hundreds of CVs to look at, hiring managers may spend a little time scanning through your documents.

According to job portal Indeed, on average, employers look at CVs for six to seven seconds.

This means your CV should pack a punch and have everything the recruiter needs within the short time frame they will spend looking at it.

Here are some tips to make your CV stand out:

Spark their interest

Ensure that a recruiter knows the most important things about you at first glance. You can accomplish this by beginning with a list of your most impressive skills. Check that your skills match the job you’re applying for.

This will entice them to read more about your work experience, which should be listed chronologically.

Your design should be appealing but not distracting. It should be concise and highlight your key points. Recruiters are divided on whether or not you should use a photo.

They all agree, however, that if you use a photo in your CV, it should look professional and not like it was taken on a night out.

Do not be modest

This is your chance to be noticed. You must be open about your accomplishments, such as being named team leader at your previous job or winning an award at your university or TVET college.

This will give the person reviewing your CV a better idea of what you are capable of and will demonstrate your dedication.

Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry

You must demonstrate that you are knowledgeable in your field, regardless of whether you are new to the job market.

This will demonstrate that you keep up with any changes and developments in your industry.

It will also prove that you can contribute to the organisation to which you are applying.

Be careful of the language you use

Recruiters seek applicants who are honest and distinctive. As a result, avoid overused adjectives such as hard-working or responsible.

This may be true of your work ethic and character, but it is preferable to demonstrate rather than tell.

Instead, state that you are responsible, ethical, and considerate.

Be precise

The grammar, spelling, and punctuation in your document could mean the difference between your CV being thrown away or being called in for an interview.

It is critical to pay close attention to every detail. You can use free grammar checking apps like Grammarly to ensure that your CV is error-free.

Have another set of eyes look over your CV before submitting it. They may notice something you did not.

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About the author: Xolile Mtembu is a multimedia journalist for Independent Media. 

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